The Heartbeat of the School

Last week I was at ALA in the humongous conference center in New Orleans! Always a great event. Although the conference center was so very large, that I didn’t see many folks from NC. I wouldn’t have even known they were there except for Facebook.

One of the highlights of the trip was the AASL Awards Ceremony. We got to meet our Daria_009digital leaders, grant winners, and librarians of the year. This year, the AASL Distinguished School Administrator award went to Mike Daria, Superintendent of Tuscaloosa City Schools.

Dr. Daria understands the value of school libraries to the culture of classes, schools, and districts at a level that is rarely seen. Please read what he says in a recent edition of Knowledge Quest. I talked with him for a few minutes after the awards ceremony. I repeated what he already knew – that so many in the upper ranks of education have no idea what a difference a good librarian can make in a school. He told me that he didn’t either, until he listened to what school librarians had to say.

Here is what I know today. We must continue to fund libraries at high levels in our schools. Libraries can be the greatest strategy in bringing equity through access to our schools and students if they are funded appropriately.

Yes! Someone in authority who gets school libraries!

Most of us are underfunded, expected to teach a full slate of classes, and do all our library duties on the side. Many have no assistants, no budget, no time. Librarians are being replaced in many schools by an assistant, or worse (as if that wasn’t bad enough!) libraries of books are being redistributed to classrooms so the library can be remodeled into some other type of space.

I want Dr. Daria’s message to be heard by his peers across the country! I want them to make a decision to rise to his challenge! The reality is that many just will not listen. Or maybe it’s not so much that they won’t listen but they are just too busy for the written or spoken word. Maybe they need personal evidence to make his words resonate with them.

This puts the onus of school library advocacy right back squarely on the shoulders of school librarians. We can talk all we want, but we need to show our staffs, schools, districts, and states the difference school librarians and libraries make in the lives of students. We need to highlight the successes and examine the failures. We need to get loud and figure out the best ways to share and provide the evidence of the value school libraries provide!


Preconferences & School Librarians

If you’ve never been to a preconference, find one and GO! Conferences usually have sessions that are go, go, go, run, run, run! But a preconference is longer and gives you the chance to really engage with the speaker, topic, and attendees.

So, if you could request any preconference that would be the most beneficial to you as a school librarian, what would it be?

what do you want_.png

Conference time!

NCSLMA annual conference is this week! We have awesome speakers, authors, vendors. We get to see much missed friends. We get to talk library talk and know everyone will understand!

A ton of effort goes on behind the scenes making this event a happening. Many associations have a paid administrative assistant and may even have a director. NCSLMA is run 100% by volunteers. These volunteers are active in their own libraries and give enormous amounts time to help improve our profession. Thanks to their efforts, we have an exceptional organization to represents us! I want to especially thank Brene Duggins, president-elect and conference chair, and Sedley Abercrombie, president. I’ve learned so much from both and am looking forward to serving with them again next year.

This year, NCSLMA, AASL, and NCLA all have vendor booths. Please stop by and say hello!

ncslma conference 2017


Summer is on the decline

For the last several years, I’ve written a “what I did on my summer vacation” post. Mainly to show that it’s no 3 month vacay. (And 3 months!? Really?) So here goes.

  • Week long training at UNCG for clinical teachers.
  • Had my “read and ride” donors choose grant funded.
  • Went through the TED-X application process. (Accepted btw)
  • PD on Exploring NC Digitally. Thanks to NCSLMA.
  • Worked on campus about 20 days. I lost track. I was in more than I intended.
  • Wrote 2 math books for Carson Dellosa – a 4th and a 5th. This took up the majority of summer.
  • Went to the mountains for a few days with my girlfriends.
  • Attended multiple meetings for school or NCSLMA.
  • Applied for an admin program and scheduled a retirement meeting. The coupling of these two is bizarre, but I’m planning for every contingency. Mwahahaha

What I planned but didn’t do:

  • Rework my school web page.
  • Practice my Spanish.
  • Plan like a library demon.
  • Read a book a week. I read, but . . .
  • Exercise like I wanted. I did but it was not at the level I planned.

The math books threw things off plan, but will pay for my new grad school endeavors.

What I worked in just because it was summer:

  • I ate watermelon. Pure ambrosia.
  • I went to the pool.
  • I napped.
  • I watched some Netflix.

Not an overly exciting time in my life, but bunches accomplished. And I got to spend some time (not enough) with old and new friends!

56 days of summer – 31

The Cold Dish Yesterday, I did seriously write before and after church. I have approximately 4 more pages of content (unless I decide one of these last topics needs more, then I have to discard earlier work). It was exhausting and extremely satisfying.

I’m in a Smart Notebook workshop Tues & Wed. I’ve got to go in today and get the program loaded on my computer. I’ll think I’ll stay and work a while. Always something to do donchano!

I started a Longmire book, The Cold Dish. Having just finished a Dan Brown book, these chapters are really meaty! Surprisingly, it’s terribly funny in parts.

Last night, I was in a twitter chat. Sedley Abercrombie (another NCSLMA Emerging Leader) founded this Sunday night chat. 7:30 pm. #NCTLchat. Topic is different each week. Don’t have to join in the conversation, but you’ll have a hard time not jumping in! You don’t have to be in NC to participate. This week was on Promoting the Library with Elissa MalespinaEdie Crook shared her LiveBinder for Media Center PR and Advocacy.

This check list for AASL standards came across my feed.